The British government summoned France’s ambassador for talks over the incident, the latest sign of cross-Channel tension between the two countries.
French authorities said Thursday that they had detained a British fishing trawler, prompting the government in London to summon France’s ambassador for talks, escalating months of rising tension between the two nations, the New York Times reported.
The confrontation was the latest in a series of cross-Channel flare-ups over post-Brexit fishing rights that have led to accusations of bad faith, threats and even a brief naval standoff in May between the two NATO allies.
Thursday’s moves will likely stoke tensions in French-British affairs that have become increasingly frayed as both nations have tried to define a new relationship after Britain’s departure last year from the European Union.
French leaders were infuriated in September when the United States and Britain announced a deal to develop nuclear-powered submarines for Australia, prompting Australia to cancel a French contract to build conventional submarines. The episode played into longstanding French concerns about the English-speaking nations looking out for their own interests, without regard for their European allies.
But the most persistent irritant between the two neighbors has been a dispute over fishing rights that has ballooned into a diplomatic feud around how to implement a post-Brexit agreement — an issue that both French and British officials hoped they had put behind them.
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